Published in PC Hardware

HDD is going the way of the dodo

by on12 May 2023

Power will set the tone

A Pure Storage exec is predicting that no more hard disk drives will be sold after 2028 because of electricity costs and availability and NAND $/TB declines.

Pure VP Shawn Rosemarin, said it was not the declining cost of SSDs and Pure's DFMs dropping below the price of disks, although that plays a part.

 "The ultimate trigger here is power. It's just fundamentally coming down to the cost of electricity. Hard drive technology is 67 years old. We need to herald this technology that went from five megabytes the size of this room to where we are today. And even the latest HAMR technology, putting a laser on the top of the head to heat up the platters, is pretty remarkable ... But we're at the end of that era," Rosemarin said.

HDD vendors all disagree for obvious reasons and analyst Gartner said that enterprise SSDs will only hit 35 per cent of HDD/SSD exabytes shipped by 2026 which makes Rosemarin's 2028 prediction unlikely.

Rosemarin however said that his outfit’s CEO thinks that percent of the world's power is in datacenters. Roughly a third of that is storage. Almost all of that is spinning disk

“If I can eliminate the spinning disk, and I can move to flash, and I can, in essence, reduce the power consumption by 80 or 90 per cent while moving density by orders of magnitude in an environment where NAND pricing continues to fall, it's all becoming evident that hard drives go away."

The issue of electricity price though is important. The UK’s power costs have gone up by five times recently and rarely come down once they have risen.

He said that major hyperscalers such as one last summer who tried to enter Ireland and was told the country did not have enough power.

“The next logical step from that is OK, so now if you're a company and I start to say, well, we only have so much power, so I'm gonna give you X amount of kilowatts per X amount of employees, or I'm gonna give you X amount of kilowatts for X amount of revenue that you contribute to the GDP of the country or whatever metric is acceptable," Rosemarin said.


Last modified on 12 May 2023
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